Pete Townshend Writing New Musical, Songs Headed for Who LP - Rolling Stone
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Pete Townshend Writing New Musical, Songs Headed for Who LP

Pete Townshend updated his page on the Who’s official Website yesterday to alert fans that he’s currently working on a new musical titled Floss, “an ambitious new project for me, in the style of Tommy and Quadrophenia.” Townshend wrote, “In this case the songs are interspersed with surround-sound ‘soundscapes’ featuring complex sound-effects and musical montages. Several of the more conventional songs from Floss will be featured on a forthcoming Who recording for release in 2010.”

According to Townshend, Floss tells the story of Walter, an aging rocker who retires after one of his songs becomes the anthem of a TV commercial. Walter becomes a house-husband to his wife, the title character Floss, who is devoted to riding stables. After a 15-year break from music, Walter decides to become a rocker again, and finds that the songs he writes “evoke the ecologically rooted, apocalyptic mindset of his generation.” That and personal difficulties lead to an estrangement from Floss, but the two are reunited after an event at an emergency hospital ward. The subject matter is light years away from being the deaf, dumb and blind pinball wizard of Tommy or the schizophrenia and Mods vs. Rockers conflict of Quadrophenia, but Floss reflects where Townshend is now as he approaches age 64.

Floss “touches on the current issues faced by the Boomer generation. It also addresses their uneasy relationship with their parents, children and grandchildren,” Townshend writes. “As a 19 year old — with “My Generation” — I wrote the most explicitly ageist song in rock. At 64, I now want to take on aging and mortality, using the powerfully angry context of rock & roll.”

Townshend adds that Floss will make its debut in concert in 2011. While the date and venue have not yet been determined, Townshend says he’s already talking with producers in New York. Townshend adds that his sole focus is on Floss while Roger Daltrey is on the road for his own solo tour.

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Pete Townshend Muses on Rock Honors, Smashing Computers, Eddie Vedder in E-Mail to Rolling Stone

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